The case of the elderly couple arrested in Nebraska on suspicion of transporting 60 pounds of marijuana cross-country has taken an odd twist.
Their son is a deputy state’s attorney in Vermont.
The Burlington Free Press describes Justin Jiron as a top Chittenden County criminal prosecutor in Vermont’s busiest state’s attorney’s office.
Jiron’s boss issued a statement Tuesday saying he had nothing to do with his parents’ pot predicament.
“Justin, of course, loves his parents, and is concerned about their welfare,” Sarah George, Chittenden County state’s attorney, said in her statement.
“However, he is extremely disappointed in their behavior and actions as reported by media outlets.”
His mom and dad - Patrick Jiron, 83, and Barbara Jiron, 70, from Clearlake Oaks, Calif. - were pulled over in a traffic stop on Dec. 19 on Interstate 80 in York County, Neb.
Authorities say the couple had 60 pounds of high-grade pot in their Toyota Tacoma that the Jirons allegedly said was for Christmas presents for family and friends.
They told deputies they were driving to Vermont.
“As you are aware, the parents of Justin Jiron, Chief Deputy State’s Attorney in my office, were recently arrested in Nebraska for possessing a large quantity of marijuana,” George’s statement said.
“To that regard, it is paramount that the community understand that Justin is in no way connected to this allegation other than by relation.”
Jiron has worked in the state’s attorney’s office for 15 years, she said. The Free Press reported he has worked on a number of the state's highest profile cases during his career.
“As public servants we understand that the decisions and mistakes of our family members an impact the community’s trust in us, but at the end of the day, we can only control our own choices and not those of our families,” George said.
“Because Justin is not connected to these allegations, his status in this office as Chief Deputy State’s Attorney, has not changed.”
His dad was driving the truck through eastern Nebraska when authorities stopped him for going over the center line and failing to signal.
Deputies reported smelling “the odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle,” according to The York News-Times.
They said Patrick Jiron allowed them to search the truck and they found the pot under a topper in the back. Authorities estimated the marijuana to be worth more than $300,000.
York County Sheriff’s Lt. Paul Vrbka told the News-Times that Barbara Jiron was cited but was not jailed “due to some medical issues.”
Patrick Jiron was taken into custody and booked on charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and having no drug tax stamp. He posted 10 percent of his $100,000 bond and was released, according to the News-Times.
The Jirons reportedly told deputies they did not know it was illegal to transport marijuana in Nebraska.
Last year in California, where they live, voters passed Proposition 64 to legalize the adult use of recreational pot. Vermont lawmakers continue working toward legalizing recreational marijuana, which some expect to happen in early 2018.